ELI5: Explain Like I'm 5

fiber optics

Okay kiddo, let's talk about something cool called fiber optics! Fiber optics is like sending messages and pictures through tiny tubes made of glass or plastic. Just like how water can flow through a straw, information can flow through these tubes, but it's made of light!

First, let's understand what light is. Look at the sun, it's really bright and makes everything easier to see, right? Light is like a really fast stream of tiny particles called photons that go really fast. They move so fast that our eyes can't even see them!

Now, imagine a really skinny tube, like a piece of spaghetti, made out of glass. If we shine a light source, like a flashlight, into one end of the tube, the photons of light will travel down the skinny tube, bouncing off the walls and staying inside the tube. They won't spill out because the glass is reflective, like a mirror.

Now, imagine using those skinny glass tubes to send messages or pictures. We can turn the light source on and off really fast, like a code, to send different signals through the tube. When the light gets to the other end of the tube, we can detect the signals and interpret them as pictures or messages on a screen.

What's really special about fiber optics is that since the tubes are made of glass or plastic, they can carry messages really far without the signal weakening or getting distorted. It's like if you were playing a game of Telephone with your friends, but instead of whispering the message from person to person, you could shout it across a whole football field and still have it come out clear on the other end!

So that's fiber optics, a really cool way to send information using light in little tubes made of glass or plastic.